As the summer sun blazes, a traditional activity gets going in some homes in Mylapore – making vadams.
Dance guru Padma S Raghavan, who runs the Silambam school in Mylapore has been going up to her terrace to make a variety of vadams – jav-arisi being one, another with tomato puree and another with potato shreds.
Padma says she does this between dance classes online and mailing worksheets with her students. She just completed her quota for this part of the season.
The photo on top here is from Padma’s FB page.
Senju Lakshmi, a resident of Mylapore, has been making and selling vadams for more than a decade. She just finished one batch before the lockdown and is taking a break for a few days before she starts off with her next batch of vadams.
She says, “In March every year, about 10 of us, relatives and friends, get together to make these vadams. While certain vadams are available only from March to June, appalam and ela vadam are available with us throughout the year”.
She says she has fond memories of helping her mother when she was a child. “We would sit on the terrace for hours and drive away the crows. I would get up early in the morning and would watch while my mother gently laid the vadams on the cloth. In the evening, all the cousins would take turns to remove the vadams stuck to the while cloth without breaking them and transfer them into a box. Seeing my mother do it every summer inspired me to do the same”.
She continues, “While most vadams are easy to make, ela vadam takes the most time. Batter preparation takes a day. We have to leave it for another day for the fermentation process to kick in. After it ferments, we have to steam it and then dry it on the terrace. I use a soft white cloth to dry my vadams. Plastics are not used.
Onion and Jevarasi vadam, kuchi and omapodi vattal and ulundu (black gram dhal) and rice appalams are her specialities. All her vadams are priced at Rs. 500 per kg. Delivery only for orders worth Rs. 1000 or more. She is located at 15/7, Chidambara Swamy 2nd Street, Mylapore. She can be contacted at 9444849943.